Browns vs. Commanders Game Preview | 7:30 PM 8/11/23

August 11, 2023

Andy Billman Tony Camino

Preseason Game 2 Breakdown and Betting Prognostications

3 Things Preview Browns vs. Commanders:

1 – Number 4 

Every fan, journalist and I dare even say people inside of Barea just want a taste of what we are going to see from QB Deshaun Watson in 2023.  It is why this preseason game has a little buzz to it. 

2 – Back Up Running Back

After Nick Chubb and with the injury to Jerome Ford there’s some question about who’s going to be behind Chubb if Ford is out for an extended period of time.  Big opportunity for Demetric Felton and John Kelly.

3 – Cade York and the Special Teams

It is never good when you are eyeing your kicker in the second preseason game, but that’s where we are at with kicker Cade York.  It would be nice as well to see a better performance overall from Brown’s special teams.

Browns Notes

The Browns showcased a strong defensive performance during their initial preseason match, effectively limiting the Jets to fewer than 200 total yards in the game. Their commendable ability to defend against the run was particularly evident, holding the Jets to a mere 2.3 yards per carry. This could pose challenges for the Commanders, who heavily rely on their ground game for success.

While Brian Robinson Jr. established himself as Washington’s primary running back in the previous season, it’s likely that his playing time will be limited in this upcoming game. Sam Howell, now designated as the season’s starting quarterback, had limited involvement as a rookie. Consequently, he is expected to have a substantial presence on the field during this match.

However, the Browns’ dominant run defense in their previous game could create obstacles for the Commanders’ quarterbacks. As a result, Washington’s offensive performance might be lackluster in this encounter. Contrarily, the Browns exhibited proficiency in both passing and rushing during their initial game. With the announcement of Deshaun Watson, their starting quarterback, seeing action after being sidelined in the first preseason game, their offensive potency is anticipated to increase.

Despite the Commanders’ competence in defending against the pass, their struggles with run defense, especially on the road, might persist. Considering the Browns’ intentions to field more of their primary players in this match, it’s foreseeable that the Commanders will struggle to contain their momentum. Ultimately, it’s advisable to favor Cleveland to exceed the predicted point spread, especially when playing on their home turf.

Commanders Notes

Last season, the Commanders concluded with an 8-8-1 record and found themselves at the bottom of the NFC East standings. This followed their division-winning performance in the preceding season. Their sights are now set on reclaiming a spot in the playoffs for this season. To kickstart their journey, they aim to break their three-game losing streak in the preseason on Friday.

During the previous season, Washington averaged 18.9 points per game. Their passing game yielded 204.2 yards per game, ranking 21st in the league, while their rushing game reached 126.1 yards per game. Seeking to address offensive challenges, the team made a strategic move during the offseason by bringing in Eric Bieniemy, the former offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs, to lead their offensive strategies.

The quarterback landscape underwent changes as well. Taylor Heinicke, last year’s leading passer, and backup Carson Wentz were replaced in favor of second-year quarterback Sam Howell, who has been designated as the new starter. Additionally, to fortify their quarterback position, they secured the services of veteran player Jacoby Brissett.

On the defensive front, the Commanders displayed strength last season, conceding an average of 20.2 points per game, ranking eighth in the league. Their adeptness in both pass defense and run defense was evident. In efforts to enhance their defensive depth, they welcomed emerging talents such as Emmanuel Forbes and Jartavius Martin, both selected in the first two rounds of the draft. The team is optimistic that a resurgence from Chase Young will contribute to maintaining their position as one of the league’s premier defensive units.

Pay The Man His Money Picks

Best Bets for Browns vs Commanders Preseason Week One

Season Record: 3-0

After the impressive sweep last week, where I even cashed out +750, it’s only fair that I scout for more money-making chances in this preseason game. Since we’re still in preseason mode and my previous predictions aced the board without my own bets, I’ll do a solid for anyone tailing me by skipping betting myself again tonight. The board might not shine as brightly as it did during the Hall of Fame Game, but these two picks are still my go-to choices.

  • Browns team total: Over 20.5 points (-105)
  • Browns Moneyline (-166)

I wouldn’t risk as much money on these bets as you would a normal NFL game, but I like these two picks if you want in on the action.

Browns Team Total Over 20.5 points (-105)

The line has made a significant leap from 16.5 in the Hall of Fame Game to 20.5 for preseason week one, all thanks to the presence of key players like Deshaun Watson and other starters hitting the field. In the previous preseason, the Browns managed to put up 20 points in each of the three games, with two of them hitting the 20-point mark right on the dot and one concluding at 24. During the recent game against the Jets, the Browns pulled off a 21-point finish, despite securing just one score in the first half.

As the starters make their appearance on the field, my confidence lies in their ability to make it into the endzone at least once and potentially set up multiple scoring opportunities. I don’t anticipate Coach Stefanski revealing the full playbook, so I expect a good amount of screenplays and quick drops to gain some effortless yards. The offensive line looks solid as usual, and the potential opening for RB2 might bring even more impressive performances from the running backs. Vegas seems to have set a well-calibrated line here, and I could envision the Browns’ final tally falling anywhere between 17 and 24 points.

Browns Moneyline (-166)

Given the three-point spread, it seems wiser to bet on the Browns pulling off a win in this game rather than worrying about covering the spread. While a victory usually implies covering the spread, the uncertainty of preseason games makes this a more cautious approach. On paper, the Browns clearly outshine the Commanders, boasting a stronger lineup from starters to backups.

The fact that Sam Howell is set to take the reins as the main quarterback for the Commanders works in favor of the Browns. Despite a year in the league, Howell’s track record is limited to just one game where he didn’t leave a significant mark. Our buddy Jacoby Brissett is probably going to step in as the second-string quarterback for the Commanders. Though he had a solid run last year, it’s important to note that his success was largely influenced by Kevin Stefanski’s coaching style and the talented offensive weapons at his disposal.

Josh Dobbs is simply too good to be pitted against backups. I’m inclined to believe they’ll pull ahead on the scoreboard during that part of the game if nothing else. The Browns’ depth is impressive, covering everything from wide receivers to cornerbacks to offensive linemen. It’s not just the starters who are likely to outperform Washington; even the second and third-string players should have a pretty good day.


Heading into preseason week one, all eyes are on number four – Deshaun Watson. Despite all the exciting storylines and awesome moves the front office has pulled off to build this squad, it pretty much boils down to Watson coming back strong. The hints from last year’s game footage and his serious attitude in camp are getting Browns fans pumped. But when it comes down to it, he’s got to deliver on the field, and tonight’s the first real test of that.

With quite a few starters getting some action, it’s a cool way to gauge how each group is doing, and it sets the tone for the rest of camp leading up to week one. Cade York and the special team’s crew need to step up their game – more field goals need to go in, and they’ve got to cover kicks way better than they did in the Hall of Fame Game. With Jerome Ford’s availability for week one up in the air, it’s game on for Demetric Felton and John Kelly, battling it out for that potential backup spot, which could make for some exciting running plays. All in all, tonight’s a prime opportunity to see where the team stands and figure out what they need to focus on as they keep grinding through training camp.

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